For the last year I have been fortunate enough to work across the Oxford University Museums and Collections as an HLF Skills for the Future Education and Outreach Officer Trainee. It is hard to believe that a year has gone by already, but it has, and in short my future has been changed for the better. I have learned so much and gained invaluable experience and skills.
|Corie on placement at the Harcourt Arboretum|
One of my favourite parts of the traineeship was working alongside multiple education officers in various roles with different backgrounds. I could talk to them about anything and they were always there to support me and any ideas. Many times the conversation focused on how museums can shape people’s lives; about what museums can do for people out in the community; why people would want to be involved with museums. I loved those conversations and it just recently hit me that I am one of those people for whom museums help and shape lives.
|Corie in discussion with the Early Years to KS2 Officer at the Ashmolean|
Skills for the future was a project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund to give those experiencing a barrier to museum work the access and skills necessary to work in this field. This project allowed me to break into a field I have been striving to work in for over five years without success. It bridged that gap between those who were good enough to work in museums but did not have enough experience and could not get hired to gain that experience. I am externally grateful for the opportunity I have been given.
|Corie working with a local primary school|
Museums are more than buildings filled with objects. They are centres of learning, culture, social engagement, opportunities, fun, and so much more that it cannot be contained within four walls. It breaks out into the community and listens to them to provide an experience unique to anywhere else. The work HLF has done with Skills for the Future and OUMC has reached out and developed a whole new generation of education officers willing to take on the challenges of the future. I am one of those people and I will take this opportunity I have been given to help others through museums because it is museums that shaped my life and my future.